A successful wine club is a strategic arrow in every winery owner’s quiver. Your wine club not only ensures a guaranteed, regular income, but also helps your winery build an ongoing relationship with its most valuable consumers. Cheers to that!
However, according to research, 59% of wine clubs have fewer than 500 members. In fact, the average wine club member stays with his/her club for about 22 months. How can you swing these figures around to reduce attrition and multiply your wine club membership? Here are 10 tips to help your wine club increase club membership, customer loyalty and profitability:
1. Raise the bar of your tasting room:
Did you know thatalmost 90% of wine club members are signed up in the tasting room? Therefore, it is key that you set out to impress and engage your tasting room visitors from the word go!
Make sure that your wine club brochures and signage are clearly visible around your tasting room. More importantly, encourage your staff to be courteous and helpful. Train your employees or let us do it for you to naturally include wine club information as they talk through the tasting and estate tours.
2.Keep your wine club’s Web page updated:
Hopefully your winery’s website is one of the best tools to help convert ordinary fans into dedicated club members. Therefore, make sure that information about your wine club is regularly updated on your site. In addition, remember to upload your winery’s news, and details about upcoming events and promotions. And evaluate the website so you can understand how the customer perceives it
Creating multiple alleyways that lead to your wine club’s Web page is a clever way to draw in potential wine club members. Therefore, make sure that your blog posts and social media buttons are linked to your wine club’s Web page. Articles that offer valuable information to wine enthusiasts will build their confidence in your brand, and ultimately help increase club sign ups.
3.Create a referral reward system:
Recommendations and referrals are also great ways to attract wine lovers to your wine club community. A referral reward system can help your winery increase sign ups. In fact, do consider offering incentives, such as a free bottle or a discount per referral.
Finally, don’t forget to leverage one of the most powerful communication tools out there – social media! Yes, indeed! Social media is an excellent platform for members to share their experiences and recommend your winery.
If you don’t have enough social media content Cuspidor is a quick and simple way to get more.
4.Host creative events:
Wine seminars, wine blending classes, art exhibitions and musical concerts are just some of the fun events that your wine club can host. In addition, you can pair up with a local producer of olives or gourmet cheese to give your wine club an edge.
While you offer exclusive events for your wine club members, do remember to craft a range of events to attract a wider audience. For example, consider a breakfast event, instead of always hosting events in the evenings. Give your club members a variety of events and activities to look forward to – and they will surely spread the word about their awesome wine club!
5.Make signing up an easy and smooth process:
A complicated and cumbersome signing up process is a big roadblock in getting new club members. Therefore, consider setting up a dedicated kiosk facility, perhaps with an iPad app, for club sign ups in your tasting room. This will make registration an easier and interesting process for your consumers.
Don’t forget your virtual visitors! An online registration form to join your wine club should be placed in a prominent spot on your winery’s website or have it as a thank you page
6.Don’t skimp on the privileges:
Treat your wine club members like VIPs. After all, they are your most loyal consumers, and they deserve special privileges. Offer your wine club members benefits like access to limited-edition wines, invitations to exclusive events, discounts on purchases, private tastings and gift vouchers.
A good winery software can help you track club member details, purchase histories and preferences. The people behind Cuspidor – a new tasting platform, are also working on recognition software using peoples mobile phones so you can greet them as they enter.
These systems will enable you to offer them personalised treatment and service. Remember that a pampered wine club member is more likely to recommend your wine club to friends and family!
7.Be generous with options:
26% of wine club members quit their clubs because they did not like the wines shipped to them.
Giving your wine club members an option to pick the wines they love is a great strategy to retain members. 360Winery is a winery management software that supports multiple club packages, pricing tiers and shipment frequencies.
8.Stay away from discount motivation:
Several wine clubs offer discounts at the time of sign ups. While there is nothing wrong with this strategy, this opens the door to “sign-up-then-cancel” members.
Remember that you want to encourage customers to join your wine club for the exclusive experience, and to be in the company of other wine connoisseurs. Therefore, avoid the “if you sign up today, you get this bonus” philosophy. Promote your wine club for its authentic experience, and not its discounts!
9.Get to know your customers:
Determining your customers’ needs and preferences will go a long way in ensuring that your wine club is able to meet their specific needs. Iwine HQ a specialist in customer understanding can assist. Asking first-time visitors the right questions can help you identify whether your wine club can meet their needs or not. Therefore, it’s key that you train your staff to be attentive to small details, and offer personalised service and treatment to each visitor.
Surveys are also a great way to stay updated about your customers’ needs. Remember to regularly ask for, and act upon, feedback from your loyal patrons.
10.Stay in touch:
Keep your wine club members updated about club news and promotions. Apart from regular e-mails, updates and newsletters, use social media to keep in touch. This will not only encourage more interaction among your wine club community, but also be a great promotion tool for your wine club.
Wine festivals and special industry events are also great avenues to interact with existing and potential members. Every event that your winery hosts is a great opportunity for you to grow your mailing list.
And check out Cuspidor a great way of building your current or potential wine club database.
If you would like expert advice on how to start, manage or expand your wine club, please do not hesitate to contact us